Arsenault, Robert - Syncopation demonstration | Bowing Down Home




RA – Robert Arsenault

KP – Ken Perlman

RA: What the basic pattern is, it’s what I call the rock and roll rhythm. A rocking rhythm needs two beats to rock. You need two beats to rock. Like it’s a dance rhythm. So you need one beat to make you rock and another to make you rock the other way.

Vocal Demonstration

A rolling rhythm is just a rhythm that rolls.

Vocal Demonstration

So you make that rhythm roll in a two beat rhythm pattern. Then you’ve got a rock and roll. So you take a tune like St. Anne’s Reel. Play the same reel and do your music lines over a two-stroke rhythm and instead of doing…

Vocal Demonstration

You do…

Vocal Demonstration (with syncopation)

You get your phrases going in a two-beat rhythmic pattern but you are still playing the same notes. Playing the exact same notes but you are regrouping those notes in a two beat rhythm phrase. You do that and you get a rock in roll. I’m not that good at it but here it is.

Demonstration: St. Anne= Reel

KP: Are you doing two upstrokes in a row?

Plays Bow Strokes

KP: Are you letting up a little on the bow [on the downstroke] so it doesn’t sound so much?

RA: That’s pretty much what happens, yeah.

KP: You’re letting up on the bow and it sounds like it’s continuous with the preceeding up-stroke.

RA: Yeah. I think if you were to write it in classical [notation], you’d have the four sixteenth notes, on the second note would be your accent.

KP: But the third is funny, because it exists and yet it doesn’t exist.

RA: That’s right. It’s there but it’s not accented. The accent is really on the second and the fourth [notes].